Today marks the 10th anniversary of Gary McCann becoming Hendon manager - an outstanding achievement. Please post your favourite memories of Gary's first 10 years as manager or, if you'd prefer, your favourite memories of Gary McCann the player.
Absolute top bloke both as a player and even more so as a Manager,have seen him in both roles over many years plus his involvment in youth football on sunday mornings.Without doubt one of the main reasons this club has survived the traumas of recent years.
Hopefully with the foundations now being laid for the club's future Gary can go on and beat old purple nose's managerial tenure with one club.
I would like to congratulate Gary on an incredible milestone of managing Hendon for ten years. The dedication loyalty and commitment he has shown under some trying circumstances says a lot about him as a person. His man management skills are superb and his current squad is testament to that. Although I havnt been with the club for long I am looking forward to the next ten years with Gary at the helm.
Re: Gary McCann
Huge congratulations to Gary on his 10 year anniversary. I think it's safe to say that when he called me on the evening of 2nd February 2005 that neither of us expected him to still be at the club ten years later. The next big anniversary will be 31st March 2017 - the 20th anniversary of his debut in goal!
During my time as a volunteer for the club, Gary was one of the most supportive people of what I did. I've done a lot of bits & pieces for him, research, a few bits of scouting, and even once acted as his assistant in the dugout for the evening at Northwood in a Capital League Cup match. We lost 2-0!
We've had some great times - the cup finals, the FA Cup runs, the play-off challenges, and whilst I've not seen a game for a few months, I'm confident this is our best squad under Gary's leadership and we'll be there or thereabouts come the end of the campaign.
He's always been approachable, even after the most horrible of games - and always been very honest.
Thanks Gary for the last 10 years - looking forward to the next 10 and beyond.
What a magnificent achievement. Today's milestone is recognition of hours of hard work and loyalty. No doubt some blood, sweat and tears all thrown in for some good measure. All under-pinned by the highest of professional standards. It is noticeable how many of his contemporaries have consistently highlighted the job he has done. He's our equivilent of Winston Churchill having been at the helm in our darkest hours.
I actually maintain he and Hendon FC have evolved in tandam and I would imagine Gary is himself looking forward to new challenges in the future.
Far from overstaying his welcome, he has become part of our fabric and looking at the bigger picture it is inconcievable to envisage anybody else at the helm.
I can quite honestly say I have never heard anybody say a bad word against him.
Well I can think of two words I would like to pass on to Mr McCann - thank you.
Re: Gary McCann
No matter how much hard work has gone in behind the scenes by the Supporters Trust, Association and Board in keeping Hendon Football Club alive over the turbulent past decade, I don't think it's any exaggeration to suggest that without Gary McCann's effort, judgement and skill, we would not still be plying our trade in the top level of the Ryman League, let alone battling away in the play-offs.
Few managers would have been prepared to have worked consistently with the budgets he has, fewer still would have guided the club successfully through the period in 2008/9 where we didn't know which ground would be 'home' from one week to the next. Few would be able to get the best out of a conveyor belt of players who upon leaving the club, have settled in at a level below and fewer still would be able to not only attract talented players to the club in the first place, but to keep them for five, six, seven and more seasons.
Always approachable following a game, unfailingly honest and gracious in both victory and defeat, Gary has been a superb ambassador for the club and can take credit for much of the goodwill that seems to exist amongst Ryman League circles for Hendon.
In terms of personal highlghts, Corby Town away in the FA Cup will live long in the memory, as will the way he effortlessly turned around the indisciplined, disinterested rabble a decade ago. We were absolutely sunk when he came in, but by taking us back to basics we survived with plenty to spare.
It's been an absolute pleasure, and I've taken more pleasure from watching Gary's sides battling against the odds than I did watching the FA Cup runs of the late 90s under Frank Murphy.
Thanks, Gary, it's been an absolute pleasure.
The true measure of him and Dawn are their children. Polite courteous full of charm and real decent people when life is full of difficult issues. Gary and Dawn McCann are a total package!
re: Gary McCann
Well done to Mr.McCann. You're very lucky to have him. But you know that.
Gary Mac memories. Two silly things. I remember a pre-match warm-up or maybe a pre-training session warm-up where a couple of players were having a game of crossbar-post. They missed the bar several times. "Give us a go!" ordered the gaffer and promptly chipped one onto the face of the bar. "You won't do that again" said a player. Gary had another go and hit the bar again. Then two more - which also hit the bar! These all from just around the D. The other silly thing is a post-match discussion with Owsy after a ressies game against Harrow Borough.
Playing memories? Sadly, Blaise O'Brien's miss at Margate sticks in the mind as my most enduring memory. It bobbled. A bit. No, seriously. It really did.
Glenn Garner's strike v. Hornchurch in one of my last games following the club goes down as comfortably the best goal - as much for Marc Leach's fifty-yard pass and Jamie Turley's cross as for Glenn's dipping shot - and Glenn nipping in behind a furious Dale Brightly to kick the ball away as Brightly took a huge swing at it when it rolled back out from the back of the net made it more of a classic.
I doubt if I'll be back watching Hendon any time soon (Cheers in background.)
I haven't seen a game of any sort since Dorchester v. Bideford and I shall be mainly glory-hunting with Bohemians in the coming months... though given how politically correct the buggers are, that idea might not last beyond the first home game v. Galway!
Great achievement, given everything he's had to put up with - but he does have a relatively sensible chairman and board.
Congratulations again, Gary McCann.
Just to add my congratulations - I didn't have the pleasure of seeing Gary in goal on more than a handful of occasions as this was during my final long stint in Hong Kong. However, as Hendon's longest serving manager he has always put in 100% and demanded the same of his players. In these days of footballers playing for 30+ clubs it is further testimony to Gary's contribution to Hendon that we have so many current players with 100+ and 200+ appearances
My best memory of Gary McCann as a player are the two FA Cup matches against Leyton Orient.
The majority of Hendon's fans stand behind the opposition goal and therefore are only viewing our own keeper from approx. 100 yards away. The two games against Leyton Orient gave us the opportunity to see Gary at close quarters for 45 minutes as we were unable to change ends at half time.
I was impressed by Gary's cool and composed attitude and by the way he organised his defence. Gary also made some superb saves under pressure, keeping Hendon in the tie.
I am sure all Hendon fans present at the replay will remember Freddie's shimmy, John-Simon White's cross and Junior's goal but Gary's saves, especially in the last 20 minutes as Leyton Orient piled on the pressure will never be forgotten.
When David Ballheimer and Peter Lush's successors write the second volume of Hendon's history, the first chapter will be entitled 'The McCann Years'. His loyalty and commitment to the club during a period of huge upheaval has been beyond praise.
As a player, Gary was simply professional in his preparation and attitude. I remember one game against Sutton, when their keeper presented Paul Whitmarsh with a tap-in. The visiting supporter next to me asked, 'Can we have Gary back, please?'. I regret that my reply was a rather impolite refusal! I'm really struggling to think of him having a bad game. Good ones, plenty. Orient, of course. And a penalty shoot-out against Wembley in a cup final at Southbury Road. Two saves from Gary (and a winner from Freddie). We won't mention the one Gary took!
As manager, just superb. So glad the club persuaded him not to resign when he felt he could not do more. Kezie Ibe, in a recent Ham&High interview, said how good the atmosphere was in the dressing-room. I'm not surprised. Again, professional, and no doubt some fun too. I'm sure this is why Hendon have been able to attract both experienced pros, and loanees as their managers know they will learn good habits from Gary and Freddie. Not to mention the loyalty of the real club men who have stayed so long. It seems like there's hardly a week goes by without an appearance landmark. All that can only be down to the management. And all on a shoestring.
I don't know Gary personally, but the comments from the people who do don't surprise me. My first memory of Max in a Hendon shirt - the ball came up to his knees!
Re: Gary McCann
One further anecdote: My first memory of Gary came when he was playing against Hendon for Enfield. I am pretty certain that it was on the 1st February 1994, a mere 21 years ago in a Full Members' Cup 1-0 Victory, when Duncan Hardy scored the only goal of the game, an excellent header from a corner, if I recall correctly. I remember being so impressed by probably one of the best goalkeepers I have ever seen. His performance was sheer class. Every movement was confident, unfussy, handling perfect, distribution assured. It did not matter that Gary lacked a few inches, he was simply in a different class to other non-league keepers. When, a few years later, he signed for Hendon, I thought - great!